TotalEnergies and Vantage Drilling form JV to acquire Tungsten explorer drillship

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TotalEnergies and offshore drillship operator Vantage Drilling have announced the signing of a binding agreement to establish a new joint venture (JV) aimed at acquiring the Tungsten Explorer drillship from Vantage.

Under the terms of the agreement, TotalEnergies will acquire a 75% interest in the JV owning the rig by paying US$199 million, while Vantage will retain the remaining 25%.

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According to a release, the JV, leveraging Vantage’s extensive offshore drilling expertise and collaboration with TotalEnergies, will engage Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TotalEnergies, expressed enthusiasm about the agreement, stating, “TotalEnergies is pleased to enter into this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus, and Congo.” Pouyanné highlighted the benefits of the partnership in hedging deep-offshore drilling costs and expressed eagerness to continue the collaborative journey with Vantage.

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Ihab Toma, CEO of Vantage Drilling, described the agreement as transformative for the company. Toma emphasized the opportunity to strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship with TotalEnergies.

The Tungsten Explorer, built in 2013, is specifically designed for deep offshore drilling and boasts a power capacity of 42 megawatts (MW) and thrust capacity of 33 MW, enabling operations in a wide range of meteorological conditions. Currently operating in Namibia on the Mangetti-1X well, the drillship utilizes Excellium additives, a premium fuel developed by TotalEnergies to optimize consumption and reduce emissions.

With its hookload capacity of 2.5 million pounds, offline capabilities, and state-of-the-art managed pressure drilling equipment, the Tungsten Explorer aligns with TotalEnergies’ envisaged future global drilling needs.

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